Today (April 26), saxophonist Andrew Woolfolk of the legendary supergroup Earth, Wind & Fire has died.
Group member Philip Bailey announced on Instagram that Woolfolk suffered from a six-year illness.
“I met him in high school, and we quickly became friends and band mates,” Bailey wrote as he remembered his bandmate and friend. “Great memories. Great talent. Funny. Competitive. Quick witted. And always styling.”
The band had many changes in its lineup of members — even group names — since its inception in 1969, however, Woolfolk has always been regarded as one of the “original nine” members of one of the most iconic groups to ever exist.
With soul and style that was unmatched, the group dominated airwaves and charts with hits like “Let’s Groove,” “Reasons,” “September” and countless others. Their music was a staple played at family gatherings across the nation.
Woolfolk was described by friends as a “jolly prankster” who “might fill your hotel room trash can with hot water and balance it atop your bedroom door, just waiting for you to return late at night.”
In 2000, Earth, Wind & Fire — who’s sold more than 90 million records — was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
As news of his passing spreads, fans and industry peers share their favorite memories with messages like “One of my absolute favorites because he made every note count.”
Another user added, “Thank you for the many moments of peace and joy you’ve provided through your music. Your talented gifts, have been fibers in the fabric of so many lives and unions. Thank you!”
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame remembered the 2000 inductee by saying, “Andrew Woolfolk’s expressive saxophone playing was a key contribution to the boldly experimental sound of @EarthWindFire. The band forever changed the face of rock & roll, bringing together thrilling music with uplifting messages of Black pride and spiritual unity.”
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2000 Inductee Andrew Woolfolk’s expressive saxophone playing was a key contribution to the boldly experimental sound of @EarthWindFire. The band forever changed the face of rock & roll, bringing together thrilling music with uplifting messages of Black pride and spiritual unity. pic.twitter.com/oh95X7NyEt
— Rock Hall (@rockhall) April 26, 2022